Think Pumpkin

I am not ready for Thanksgiving.  I have not read my pile of food magazines, all boasting special Turkey Day menu ideas and recipes.  I have not done my research and tracked down a 20 pound bird here in Switzerland.  I am still getting over having missed Halloween.  I was on the road, mostly in Paris, and aside from treating myself to a serious dose of excellent candy from Käramell (Paris’ Swedish candy shop), I didn’t celebrate Halloween as I usually enjoy doing.  I didn’t get to see any trick or treaters, with their fun, creative costumes and their big bags or baskets to fill, nor did I have the chance to bake spooky themed cookies or ghost shaped meringues.  But most especially, I missed out on making my annual pumpkin cake, which I normally do once we hit October.  So today, before I start thinking turkey,… I’m thinking pumpkin.

Don’t think pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice either.  Just pumpkin.  And chocolate.  I love baking this pumpkin chocolate cake for many reasons (other than that it’s delicious): it’s very simple to make; the ingredient list reads like a generic baking roll call aside from the pumpkin purée; and you can bake it in assorted ways: in a round cake tin and cut triangular slices, in a rectangular/square baking dish and cut brownie-like squares, or even fill a muffin tin, the latter being good for portion control and handing out to friends and neighbors.  I chop up two bars of chocolate, but you could also use chocolate chips, which would be an even faster method.  When baking in general, I prefer to chop chocolate myself rather than buy chips because you get a nice mix of sizes and textures in the end – medium chunks of chocolate, smaller pieces, and shavings that eventually melt into the batter.

Pumpkin Chocolate CakePumpkin Chocolate Cake

Another thing I like about making this recipe is that the cake batter is addictively sweet. This is one of those recipes where you look forward to licking the spatula clean. That said, when your muffin pan has a few empty baking cups, you can’t say that I didn’t warn you.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Chocolate CakePumpkin Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (280 grams) finely granulated sugar
1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (244 grams) unsweetened pumpkin purée
14 oz or about 2 cups (400 grams) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Powdered sugar for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Add pumpkin purée and mix until combined.  Continue to mix, while gradually adding the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate, and mix so that batter is smooth and chocolate is evenly distributed.

Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for around 45-50 minutes.  Cake will become dark golden, with a very thin crackly top layer, and stay real moist inside.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar when serving.

Note:  This is one cake I actually enjoy more when cold.  The perfect accompaniment is a tall glass of milk.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

14 Responses to “Think Pumpkin”

  1. Sam says:

    That looks so good! I am going to have to try this one for sure!!

  2. Lani says:

    Yummy, can’t wait to taste a piece….chocolate and pumpkin….fantastic!

  3. sabriena says:

    This looks awesome! Definitely on my list to bake!! thanks 🙂

  4. Liz says:

    I was going to make the apple pear crumble, but I think I have to make this one also…

  5. Christophe says:

    I wanna do pumpkin right now !!

  6. sabriena says:

    do you think a frosting/icing would be good with this? or better to leave au naturale?
    i am going to make it for thanksgiving!

  7. Jenn says:

    Ah, Halloween…remember in Beacon Hill, when there used to be more tiny dogs in costumes than there were children?? You’d be hard pressed to find that anywhere else, I’m sure!

    This recipe sounds fantastic. I may have to try it someday!

  8. Kerrin says:

    Happy baking to all !

    Sabriena, I actually wouldn’t recommend a frosting on this cake. It’s definitely sweet enough on its own. You wouldn’t want any more flavors to mask the pumpkin and chocolate. Just a touch of powdered sugar, if anything. I wouldn’t be against serving it with vanilla ice cream though! 😉

    Let me know how it goes for sure…

  9. Steve says:

    Ah, perfect… a new meaning to the importance of Halloween. That pumpkin cake looks awesome, and I hope to let you know how it tastes very soon (is my wife listening?). If you’d like some hints on the art of spatula licking/bowl cleaning, please let me know. THIS is my favorite part, and my job, when helping with the baking in my house.

  10. Liz says:

    The pumpkin cake was a hit. Ben couldnt believe I made it. I used chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate and it came out great!

  11. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    Chocolate and pumpkin? This sounds sooooooo delicious. We must do a spin on this for Thanksgiving this year. How about……

    Chocolate macarons with pumpkin cream?

    Not sure how the cream would work – maybe with cream cheese?

    Now, is that crazy?

  12. Kerrin says:

    Julia, yes – chocolate and pumpkin !! You’ll see, it’s a match made in heaven ! Sweet heaven ! I love that you are thinking Thanksgiving macarons ! Chocolate macarons with pumpkin cream, that sounds divine. The cream simply be a flavored buttercream . . . How about pumpkin macarons with cream cheese frosting – kind of like a mini whoopie pie! Or do that with a mini chocolate square in the middle ?! Mmmm! Or pumpkin macarons with chocolate ganache ?

    Crazy ? No way ! Probably delicious. Only one way to find out…. ! 🙂

  13. Betsy Potash says:

    Looks delicious. I love your blog! It’s a bit tricky making these pumpkin recipes abroad. I had to walk across my neighborhood in Bulgaria to find a pumpkin, then carry it back on my head, cook it, and turn it into my own puree. If you want to be amused by a fellow ex-pat baker’s adventure, check out the quest at:

  14. Kerrin says:

    Betsy, just enjoyed reading your post about pumpkin puree/butter, such fun! Thanks so much for sharing. And fabulous to hear about your pumpkin adventure in Bulgaria, wow! So tell us, can you carry huge packages (and vegetables!) on your head, perfectly balanced like those men and women who do it effortlessly and never drop a thing? 😉

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